Nancy Hillis


Author Profile

Nancy  Hillis

Nancy Hillis, M.D. is a best selling author, artist and Stanford trained existential psychiatrist and founder of The Artist's Journey® courses and workshops. Her book was named as the Top Creativity Books Of All Time by BookAuthority. She guides artists to express and create their deepest art and she blogs about the creative process at When not painting or teaching, Nancy loves to play her cello, hike with her partner, Bruce Sawhill, or listen to her daughter Kimberly sing Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro, and other operatic arias.


The Adjacent Possible


Being an artist is about continually evolving your art. It’s about cultivating your fullest self-expression and getting to the elusive deepest work your heart yearns to create. Learn the science of creativity, the adjacent possible- a revolutionary method influenced by groundbreaking research in biology to guide you to embrace the unfolding of your art. Every brushstroke and decision in your art, creates a set of possible paths that were not only invisible before, but didn’t exist before you made that creative move. This is the adjacent possible. This book will: * guide you to evolve your art * nudge you to create art that excites, scares and wows you * inspire you to move past emulating not only others, but yourself in your art With one foot in the known and one foot in the unknown, you’ll become aware of your creative edge where the adjacent possible lives. At the pivot point between creation and collapse, you’ll experience a state of poised instability. This is the art and science of the possible- a world of continuous creation. Nancy Hillis, M.D. is an abstract artist, Stanford trained psychiatrist and best-selling author of The Artist’s Journey®: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity. She helps artists transform their art from the inside out, operating from the conviction that artistic creation has as much to do with psychology as with the medium of expression. She’s been featured in Inc. magazine and The New York Observer. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Book Bubbles from The Adjacent Possible

The Paradox

In the life cycle of being an artist, the thorny issue of moving past emulating not only other artists but also yourself is a perennial one. There is a path through this predicament.

The Paradox: An Artist's Trajectory

In the life cycle of being an artist, the thorny issue of moving past emulating not only other artists but also yourself is a perennial one. There is a path through this predicament.



Painting is a mirror. It brings up everything, especially fear and yearning. This is where The Artist's Journey written by artist, psychiatrist and author, Nancy Hillis, M.D., comes in to guide you to trusting and believing in yourself as an artist The Artist's Journey is a self-help guidebook using psychological principles to help artists create their deepest work. It's an inspirational exhortation with psychological and philosophical underpinnings, to move closer and closer to your deepest self expression in your art and life. If you want a comprehensive, clearly explained, psychologically sophisticated map for your creative self-expression, start here with Nancy Hillis’ book.

Book Bubbles from THE ARTIST'S JOURNEY

Preparing for Your Artist's Journey

As an artist, you're continually facing fears and a feeling of vulnerability every time you show up in your studio to create. You yearn to express your deepest art, to move closer and closer to expressing "you" in your paintings- yet you're afraid. Self doubt, inner criticism and procrastination are some of the ways your fear shows up. The danger is in the refusal- it's in the moment that you turn your face away from your dream of creating your deepest art and life.

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